A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
ABSORPTION RATE Back to top
The ratio of the number of properties in an area that have been sold against the number available. Used to show the volatility of a market.
ABSTRACTION METHOD Back to top
This method of estimating the value of property uses similar properties available in the same market to extract the value of a parcel of land.
ACCELERATION CLAUSE Back to top
A provision in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to demand immediate payment of the outstanding loan balance under certain circumstances. Usually when the borrower defaults on the loan.
ACCESSORY BUILDING Back to top
A building separate from the main structure on a property. Often used for a specific purpose, such as a workshop, storage shed or garage.
ACCRETION Back to top
The natural growth of a piece of land resulting from forces of nature
ACRE Back to top
43,560 square feet. A measurement of area.
ACTUAL AGE Back to top
The amount of time that has passed since a building or other structure was built. See also: EFFECTIVE AGE
ADJUSTMENT DATE Back to top
The date the interest rate changes on an adjustable rate mortgage.
AD VAL OREM TAX Back to top
Taxes assessed based on the value of the land and improvements
ADDENDUM Back to top
A supplement to any document that contains additional information pertinent to the subject. Appraisers use an addendum to further explain items for which there was inadequate space on the standard appraisal form.
ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE (ARM) Back to top
A type of mortgage where the interest rate varies based on a particular index, normally the prime lending rate.
ADJUSTED BASIS Back to top
The value of an asset (property or otherwise) that includes the original price plus the value of any improvement, and less any applicable depreciation.
ADJUSTED SALES PRICE Back to top
An opinion of a property's sales price, after adjustments have been made to account for differences between it and another comparable property.
AESTHETIC VALUE Back to top
The additional value a property enjoys based on subjective criteria such as look or appeal.
AFFIRMATION Back to top
A declaration that a certain set of facts are truthful.
AFFORDABILITY ANALYSIS Back to top
A calculation used to determine an individual's likelihood of being able to meet the obligations of a mortgage for a particular property. Takes into account the down payment, closing costs and on-going mortgage payments.
AGENT Back to top
A person who has been appointed to act on behalf of another for a particular transaction.
AMENITY Back to top
Any feature of a property that increases its value or desirability. These might include natural amenities such as location or proximity to mountains, or man-made amenities like swimming pools, parks or other recreation.
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF APPRAISERS Back to top
An organization of appraisal professionals and others interested in the appraisal profession.
AMORTIZATION Back to top
The repayment of a loan through regular periodic payment.
AMORTIZATION SCHEDULE Back to top
The breakdown of individual payments throughout the life of an amortized loan, showing both principal contribution and debt service (interest) fees.
AMORTIZATION TERM Back to top
The length of time over which an amortized loan is repaid. Mortgages are commonly amortized over 15 or 30 years.
AMPERAGE Back to top
A measure of electric current describing the magnitude.
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) Back to top
The rate of annual interest charged on a loan.
ANNUITY Back to top
A sum of money paid at regular intervals, often annually.
APPLICATION Back to top
A form used to apply for a mortgage loan that details a potential borrower's income, debt, savings and other information used to determine credit worthiness.
APPRAISAL Back to top
A ''defensible'' and carefully documented opinion of value. Most commonly derived using recent sales of comparable properties by a licensed, professional appraiser.
APPRAISAL FOUNDATION Back to top
A not-for-profit educational organization established by the appraisal profession in the United States in 1987. It is dedicated to the advancement of professional valuation and responsible for establishing, improving, and promoting the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).
APPRAISAL INSTITUTE Back to top
A world-wide organization dedicated to real estate appraisal education, publication and advocacy.
APPRAISAL PRINCIPLES Back to top
The basic building blocks of the property valuation process, including property inspection, market analysis and basic economics.
APPRAISAL REPORT Back to top
The end result of the appraisal process usually consists of one major standardized form such as, the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form 1004, as well as all supporting documentation and additional detail information. The purpose of the report is to convey the opinion of value of the subject property and support that opinion with corroborating information.
APPRAISAL STANDARDS BOARD (ASB) Back to top
An independent board of the APPRAISAL FOUNDATION, which writes, amends, and interprets USPAP. The ASB is composed of up to seven appraisers appointed by the Foundation's Board of Trustees. The ASB holds public meetings throughout the year to interpret and amend USPAP.
APPRAISED VALUE Back to top
An opinion of the fair market value of a property as developed by a licensed, certified appraiser following accepted appraisal principals.
APPRAISER Back to top
An educated, certified professional with extensive knowledge of real estate markets, values and practices. The appraiser is often the only independent voice in any real estate transaction with no vested interest in the ultimate value or sales price of the property.
APPRECIATION Back to top
The natural rise in property value due to market forces.
ARMS LENGTH TRANSACTION Back to top
Any transaction in which the two parties are unconnected and have no overt common interests. Such a transaction most often reflects the true market value of a property.
ASSESSED VALUE Back to top
The value of a property according to jurisdictional tax assessment.
ASSESSMENT Back to top
The function of assigning a value to a property for the purpose of levying taxes.
ASSESSMENT RATIO Back to top
The comparative relationship of a property's assessed value to its market value.
ASSESSOR Back to top
The jurisdictional official who performs the assessment and assigns the value of a property.
ASSET Back to top
Any item of value which a person owns.
ASSIGNMENT Back to top
Transfer of ownership of a mortgage usually when the loan is sold to another company.
ASSUMABLE MORTGAGE Back to top
A mortgage that can be taken over by the buyer when a home is sold.
ASSUMPTION Back to top
When a buyer takes over, or "assumes" the sellers mortgage.
ATTACHED HOUSING Back to top
Any number of houses or other dwellings which are physically attached to one another, but are occupied by a number of different people. The individual houses may or may not be owned by separate people as well.
BACKFILL Back to top
The slope of the ground around a house.
BALL COCK VALVE Back to top
The valve inside a toilet tank that controls the filling of the tank.
BALLOON MORTGAGE Back to top
A mortgage loan in which the monthly payments are not large enough to repay the loan by the end of the term. So at the end of the term, the remaining balance comes due in a single large payment.
BALLOON PAYMENT Back to top
The final large payment at the end of a balloon mortgage term.
BANKRUPTCY Back to top
When a person or business is unable to pay their debts and seeks protection of the state against creditors. Bankruptcies remain on credit records for up to ten years and can prevent a person from being able to get a loan.
BEAM Back to top
A structural supporting member.
BILL OF SALE Back to top
A physical receipt indicating the sale of property.
BIWEEKLY MORTGAGE Back to top
A mortgage where you make "half payments" every two weeks, rather than one payment per month. This results in making the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year, rather than 12, significantly reducing the time it takes to pay off a thirty year mortgage.
BLIGHTED AREA Back to top
Any region of a city or town that has fallen into disrepair or otherwise has become undesirable.
BONA FIDE Back to top
Any genuine offer, made without intent to defraud or deceive.
BRIDGE FINANCING Back to top
An interim loan made to facilitate the purchase of a new home before the buyer's current residence sells and its equity is available to fund the new purchase.
BRIDGING Back to top
Structural members used between beams to strengthen the structure.
BROKER Back to top
An individual who facilitates the purchase of property by bringing together a buyer and a seller.
BTU Back to top
British Thermal Unit. A unit of measurement used to describe heating or cooling capacity.
BUFFER ZONE Back to top
A segment of land between two disparate municipal zones which acts as a shield to keep one zone from encroaching upon the other. Often used to separate residential districts from commercial areas.
BUILDING CODE Back to top
Regulations that ensure the safety and material compliance of new construction within a municipality. Building codes are localized to ensure they are adequate to meet the risk of common hazards.
BUILDING LINE OR SETBACK Back to top
The statutory distance between buildings and the property line, imposed by municipalities, home associations, or other agreements.
BUILT-INS Back to top
Specific items of personal property which are installed in a real estate improvement such that they become part of the building. Built-in microwave ovens and dishwashers are common examples.
BUNGALOW Back to top
A one-story, home-style dating from the early twentieth century. Often characterized by a low-pitched roof.
BUY DOWN Back to top
Extra money paid in a lump sum to reduce the interest rate of a fixed rate mortgage for a period of time. The extra money may be paid by the borrower, in order to have a lower payment at the beginning of the mortgage. Or paid by the seller, or lender, as incentive to buy the property or take on the mortgage.
BX CABLE Back to top
Electrical cable shrouded in a galvanized steel outer cover.
CALL OPTION Back to top
A clause in a mortgage which allows the lender to demand payment of the outstanding balance at a specific time.
CAP Back to top
Associated with Adjustable Rate Mortgages. A limit on how high monthly payments or how much interest rates may change within a certain time period or the life of the mortgage.
CAPE COD COLONIAL Back to top
A single-story house style made popular in New England. Often characterized by a steep roof with gables.
CAPITAL Back to top
Accumulated goods and money which is most often used to generate additional income.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE Back to top
An outlay of funds designed to improve the income-producing capabilities of an asset or to extend its economic life.
CASH-OUT REFINANCE Back to top
Refinancing a mortgage at a higher amount than the current balance in order to transform a portion of the equity into cash.
CAULKING Back to top
A pliable material used to seal cracks or openings such as around windows.
CAVEAT EMPTOR Back to top
Literally translated: ''Let the buyer beware.'' A common business tenet whereby the buyer is responsible for verifying any and all claims by the seller of property.
CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT Back to top
A document showing that the bearer has a certain amount of money, at